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Ageism: What It Means for a 40-Year Old

I’m reminded daily that life is indeed a ticking clock that will eventually stop. A parent’s death, working with middle schoolers and 20-something colleagues, teaching college students, aching more at 39 from exercising than at 33–oh the reminders abound!
While I look forward to the sunset of my life, I can’t help but start feeling irrelevant.

Yep I said it. Irrelevant. In a society that values the vim and vigor of youth, one is hard pressed to try and figure out ways to stay young, feel young, be young. Casual references to being an “old lady” is more common now than ever. Wearing ripped jeans and a Tshirt should only be reserved for the youngins I hear. When a 20-something compliments your appearance, it always starts with you look good for a 39 year old! As if 39, is when you stop looking and feeling good. Sigh…

I say quotes and make references and I draw blank stares from my students. If it doesn’t come from World Star Vine, it doesn’t matter. When I mention my all time fave quote: “Love all, trust few, do wrong to none,” students think it’s a Drake lyric. Nope, not even. Shakespeare wrote that. I already get the vibes. You know the “she think she knows everything” vibe? I guess living a few extra years on this earth really doesn’t carry much weight around here. I get blocked from Twitter accounts for fear that my “old lady” eyes won’t see what they are doing. Lol! It was just the other day when I was hiding my journals and such from my mom. Touché.

As I count up to the 40 mark, I realize that it’s also a countdown. I have already lived half of my potential life time! I’m thoroughly excited for the latter half. I’m game for what it holds. I like the soon to be 40-year old me. This me sits pretty, caring ever more less about what others think of me. I’m not the 12 year old kid who got nervous walking into the cafeteria. I’m not the 18-year old girl who tried to please her parents by staying close to home for college. I’m not the 20-something year old losing her identity in her marriage.

So yeah, block me from Twitter, make snarky jibes about my “dated” comments. It comes with the “getting older” territory. While I yet have time on my side to be the authentic me, I will embrace aging and embrace it gracefully.

The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the LORD Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace,’ declares the LORD Almighty.” ~Haggai 2:29

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